Senator Higgins welcomes members of the Irish-Sudanese community to Leinster House

Members of the Oireachtas with members of the Irish-Sudanese community
Members of the Oireachtas with members of the Irish-Sudanese community

Listening to the experiences and reports from those present, Senator Higgins spoke of how inspiring it was to see the deep commitment to peace among the protesters, “Recognising the courage and commitment of Sudanese citizens who took to the streets to call for peaceful transition to a civilian led government, Ireland should play an active role in supporting the peace negotiations currently being mediated by Ethiopia and the African Union.

Senator Higgins, who is chair of the Oireachtas Peace Neutrality and Disarmament group,  was deeply concerned by reports of death and widespread violence, including sexual and gender-based violence against protesters in Sudan over the past weeks. Medical units in the country have reported close to 150 peaceful protesters killed so far but given the restrictions that were in place on the internet and other forms of communications this may be even higher.

It is notable that both the African Union and the European Union have taken steps to call for a cessation of violence and full transparent investigation of violence and deaths.

The African Union set a deadline of 30th June for progress to be made regarding the transition to democratic rule. 

Senator Higgins said, "The Irish government should use its role within the European Union to push for this deadline to be met and consider appropriate diplomatic steps to take in the event that it is not – this may involve re-examining the Khartoum process for example. We have a responsibility as a peace-building nation to support those seeking peace in the country and the processes that are in place to ensure the successful transition to peaceful democracy. 

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